The maze of strange passages, chambers, and unlocked exits in the cellar recalls the old Egyptian representation of the underworld, which is a well-known symbol of the unconscious with its abilities. It also shows how one is “open” to other influences in one’s unconscious shadow side and how uncanny and alien elements can break in. – Carl Jung
In my book, The Vitruvian Square – A Handbook of Divination Discoveries, I included a compact discussion on pathworking and guided imagery that are possible with The Vitruvian Square matrix. This entails using your imagination and walking through each of the Places of Power (rooms, so to speak) that make up what I called The Vitruvian Palace. Today, we’re going to amp this up and I am truly excited to share with you the next generation in guided imagery that is available with The Vitruvian Square – The Vitruvian Labyrinth!
The diagram we are looking at today is only the basic version of The Vitruvian Labyrinth. (There is a much more intricate one that I will show you at a later time.) This basic version is all you need, however, to take yourself on an incredible inner journey. At the end of these articles, I will gift you with your own finger-board version; a spectacularly versatile tool that will allow you to actually walk and use The Vitruvian Labyrinth every day.
Many times the term labyrinth is used interchangeably and confused with the term maze. A labyrinth is a specific single, non-branching pattern that only leads in to the center and back out again. A maze, on the other hand, can be a very complex construction that is a puzzle with choices to be made about the directions to go and the paths to take. There are dead-ends and false starts to a maze, while those don’t exist within a true labyrinth.
There are many possible reasons that labyrinths have been created over the ages. Your Vitruvian Labyrinth is about self-discovery, reawakening, and a personal renaissance. The labyrinth, then, should be thought of as filled to the brim with symbolism and a classical way to walk between the worlds. It is something that is, at once, both your sacred place of power and an inviolate place of reflection. But be warned and excited: what you take into The Vitruvian Labyrinth, you will find.
VITRUVIAN LABYRINTH CONSTRUCTION
The Vitruvian Labyrinth gets its inspiration from one of the most famous labyrinths in the world – The 13th century Chartres Labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral in France. However, The Vitruvian Labyrinth was designed specifically for use with The Vitruvian Square and so has some special characteristics and symbolism. Here is the basic Vitruvian Labyrinth –
While The Vitruvian Labyrinth certainly has a power on its own, its real energy is experienced when it is used in conjunction with The Vitruvian Square. Our next diagram is the basic 3×3 magic square pattern of The Vitruvian Square overlayed onto The Vitruvian Labyrinth so you can see the interplay between the Places of Power, the associated numbers 0-9, and the grids.
At the heart of The Vitruvian Labyrinth (literally and figuratively), our pathway takes us from the heavens into a twisting and turning journey of realization and change (starting in Place of Power “0” and then making its way ultimately to the center at Place of Power “5”), only to return again – transformed – to the starting point. The Vitruvian Labyrinth leads you through a true Hero’s Journey when you contemplate the various Vitruvian Square associations that the labyrinth takes you through as you walk it.
SOME BASIC VITRUVIAN LABYRINTH ATTRIBUTES
The Vitruvian Labyrinth is another way of expressing the marriage of heaven and earth (the square and circle geometry found within Leonardo’s The Vitruvian Man). The circle is, at once, a representation of the heavens and the cycle of time, while also being associated with the concepts of initiation, the universe, everything, and completion. The square is a symbol of the earth and our foundation. It is order, structure, building, and manifestation.
Our labyrinth contains ten circuits (nine outer tracks and the center circle) with only one way in and only one way out. The ten circuits each represent a Place of Power within The Vitruvian Square. Each of these ten circuits represents a different realm (and, indeed, may even be associated with a similar spiritual concept from Buddhism, if you’d like).
As you will see in the following diagram, The Vitruvian Labyrinth can also be divided into four quarters.
I have discussed many times the various associations for the four cardinal points in various cultures. Among others, you might consider the following in using the labyrinth:
NORTH = Pentacles = Earth = Winter = Sensation
WEST = Cups = Water = Fall = Feeling
SOUTH = Wands = Fire = Summer = Intuition
EAST = Swords = Air = Spring = Thinking
You will also note that, in the diagram, West is on your right as you look down on the diagram, while East is on your left. Please remember that, in working with The Vitruvian Square, you are putting yourself into the structure. In other words, pretend you are the Vitruvian Man looking out from matrix and back at yourself. From this position, East is on your right and West is on your left. What might look like an inadvertent reversal, on first blush, is really a deeper layer to working with both the matrix and the labyrinth. You are inside both of them – not merely an observer! (By the way, this also explains why Place of Power “6” is on right as you look down on the matrix and Place of Power “4” is on the left.)
The Vitruvian Labyrinth contains 22 switchbacks/hairpin curves.
The 22 switchbacks/hairpin curves were included in the labyrinth’s design to absorb the 22 Major Arcana (and permit some amazing pathworking), among other things. When you think of what a curve such as this does – it makes you seem to reverse course and go back in the direction you just came while, at the same time, leading you closer to your ultimate goal – it is obvious how contemplation on each of the 22 Major Arcana can lead to some insightful revelations in this context.
Additionally, there are 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet for those who might be inclined to associate those attributes, as well.
Finally, as you may already know, 22 is considered a Master Number in numerology.
The Vitruvian Labyrinth also contains 6 turns.
In numerology, the number 6 can mean enlightenment – a lighting of our way – and the expressive nature of the soul. This is the number of truth, love, and balance. It should come as no surprise, then, that the turns were built at the very beginning and very end of our journey into and out of the labyrinth.
MORE TO COME . . . STAY TUNED FOR NEXT WEEK’S ARTICLE
Before next week, if you would like to learn more, information about The Vitruvian Square can be found here:
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